So I want you to first meet Chris Cartter. Chris is an entrepreneur, and he has the kind of learning mindset and repertoire that you'd expect in a catalyst. He's spent a decade doing international development work, mostly in conflict areas in the Horn of Africa. The idea of using social networks to achieve change has always been compelling to Chris. During the famine in Ethiopia in the mid-1980s, he was already looking at how to use information technology and networking to disseminate information more quickly and more widely in the region. Then, as he described it, Chris became a father and stopped doing dangerous things. Instead, he went to the Boston University School of Public Health, where he ran a series of early networking projects funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. And he made the transition from development to healthcare. He then helped to develop the world's largest smoking cessation program as CEO of a small startup called quicknet.com. So we can see that Chris has a really rich repertoire and is ready to innovate. Chris saw an area of opportunity he wanted to explore. Could he use social networking to help people adopt healthier lifestyle choices? To explore the question, Chris enlisted the aid of Essential Design, a Boston-based innovation consulting firm. Working together, their biggest challenge, as Chris described it, was to figure out how to engage people in doing something about their well-being. But how to begin to tackle a question that big? Well, let's start with what is. Attempting to answer the what is question in this project presented special challenges from a research viewpoint. Potential customers for such a service were diverse. They ranged in age from 20 to 70, and had a mixture of family situations, motivational levels and technological savvy. Essentials team leader Bill Heartmann wanted to have a creative conversation with their interview subjects. And he knew this would take a different kind of tools and a different kinds of stimuli. The approach Bill decided to take, much like we saw in the Good Kitchen, was ethnographic. But ethnography encompasses a wide variety of specific tools. Ones like journey mapping, that we've already looked at, but others that allowed Essential to explore interviewees' perspectives even deeper. They selected three dozen candidates representing diverse demographics and gave them several homework assignments to complete before their interview. Before we go on though, I want to take a moment to add an important sidebar here. 36 people probably seems like a very small sample to make decisions on, to those of us who are accustomed to high end quantitative methodologies. But 36 is actually an unusually large number of people to study for a design thinking project. Some number under 20 is actually a more common starting point. The reason why we are so comfortable with these smaller numbers in design thinking is because we're happy to make the trade off to go deep with a small number rather than wide with a larger one. Getting to know a stakeholder's unarticulated needs takes a lot of time and effort, and our interviews tend to be long, and the qualitative data we gather is often plentiful. We have to limit our sample size just to manage it. But that's okay, because the purpose of research in the what is stage, is not to prove that an idea is good. Let me repeat that. It's not to prove that an idea is good. It's to inspire us to have better, more innovative ideas. And even one interview, if it's a really good one, can accomplish that inspiration. The proving piece in the design thinking methodology happens later. It happens when we ask the question what wows? And then what works? Those are topics we'll turn to next week. But for right now, let's go back to Chris Cartter and his opportunity. Essentials first homework assignment for the 36 people they selected to interview was to capture the rhythm of their daily lives for a week. Asking each person to note specific experiences that affected their well-being. And these could range from skipping breakfast to talking with a spouse about financial matters. Essential provided journals to record these as a reminder to people and to impress upon them the importance of the assignment. Here's an example of a page from one of the interviewee's journals. But the Essential team wanted to go beyond just mapping the health journeys of their interview subjects, and so they chose to use some more projective tools. They asked interviewees to create and bring with them a collage of images that symbolize their their perception of well-being and their five year projections for themselves. Here's an example of one of those collages that an interviewee actually brought with him to the interview. Pretty impressive, isn't it? It's a great example of how the power of visualization, that we talked about in earlier sessions, can really make a difference. Imagine what you'd learn as the interviewee walked you through his images here, explaining what each of them meant. These kinds of tools are called projective. These approaches are called projective because, like a Rorschach, they use ambiguous stimuli to get us to project and arrive at deeper thoughts. Now, the subsequent face-to-face interviews also utilize projection. And they were structured to facilitate co-creation between the interviewee and the interviewer using more projective techniques. One of these was a pinwheel. During the interview, people were given a pinwheel and asked to draw themselves into the center. The petals of the pin wheel, were for them to draw in friends and family. Then they rated how each of the petals impacted their well-being, allowing them to create a kind of social graph, almost intuitively. Again, think of the difference between this tool and just asking people who impacted their well-being, with no visualization to stimulate their thinking or encouragement to think systematically through a variety of friends and relatives and to give relative ratings to each. Then during an earlier part of the interview, a researcher in the other room created sticky labels that captured some of the well-being goals that the interviewees talked about. During the second half of the interview, participants were then asked to position these on a two by two matrix that captured, first, how challenging these goals seem to be for them to achieve, rating them from easy to achieve to difficult. And then, how much help they wanted to achieve them. These interviews helped the team create a picture of the kinds of differences in the way people thought about their well-being. And some patterns started to emerge. One of the most useful tools in the design arsenal, a tool we call Mind Mapping, facilitates this search for patterns and themes. It's worth learning more about. We find that the managers we teach this tool to, use it for everything, from big innovation projects, to even their weekly staff meetings. As they looked for themes and patterns, the teams started to see systematic differences in the knowledge, attitude, and skills of the different interviewees. These insights led to the creation of seven personas. So important that they still hang on the wall at Christ Cartter's new company, which he named MeYou Health, as a reminder of who the company serves. The different personas ranged from the already health-oriented Aware and Achieving persona, to the Me-Time Impoverished, who often have significant caretaker roles, such as the mothers of small children. Validation Seeker personas, want to count their progress in some tangible way, such as steps walked or calories consumed. For them, it's all about checking it off the to-do list. In contrast, the Enlightened had a very holistic view of well-being, which incorporated mind, body and spirit. They were much more interested in the journey than the destination. The Idle persona depended on extrinsic motivation, and he needed easy challenges that were social in nature because they were so easily discouraged. And the Excuse Makers tended to use a lot of humor and were concerned about being shamed for not meeting their goals. Each of these personas needed its own approach to improve well-being, and hence, their own design criteria for the best approach to reach them. For the Idle persona, for instance, challenges needed to be really simple and extrinsically based, like a text message. Ideally, they would also involve a partner or a group. The creation of personas like these are often employed in the design thinking process as a tool, and can help us to pay attention and design for specific types of stakeholders, ones who are often ignored or under-served when we generalize across people and focus on the mean as we do our designing. So, for instance, the Me-Time impoverished, if we look up close, who's focused on the needs of others. He or she might respond better to a challenge to prepare a healthy family meal for instance, than to a more individually-focused activity. Doing healthy new activities can actually create a sense of guilt, of taking time away from their families, to focus selfishly on themselves. On the other hand, the characteristics and underlying needs of the Excuse Maker are completely different. They, too, may feel overworked and overwhelmed, but while the barriers to success for the Me-Time Impoverished are often guilt and family responsibilities, the Excuse Maker tends to suffer most from his or her personal pessimism and tendency to procrastinate. The kind of help they need to lead healthier lives is very different. The Essential team took all of these insights and used them to create criteria for the qualities of the solution that would help the seven different personas. They used a set of tools for brainstorming as part of asking, what if, that you will want to learn more about. These are not the traditional approaches to brainstorming that many managers love to hate, the think of ten novel uses for a paperclip kind. These are structured techniques aimed at collaborative idea generation. They use trigger questions, and multiple rounds of silent idea writing, and then sharing to allow us to create sessions that are both data driven and collaborative. And sessions that are not dominated by the loudest voice or by the HPO, the highest paid opinion in the room. I guarantee that you will find that these methods enhance the quality of your idea generation significantly.